Last Updated: 01/04/13 2:27pm
A game that never really hit the heights you would expect from these two outstanding sides, but was ultimately settled by two moments of sheer class. First, there was Demba Ba's sublime volley that gave Chelsea the lead before Blues keeper Petr Cech made a miraculous one-handed save to keep out a header from United striker Javier Hernandez. Two moments that lit up an otherwise low-key encounter.
We almost get one as Young finds the run of Evra whose low cross is met by Van Persie who blazes the ball over from 12 yards.
There are plenty of weary legs on the field now, but we are now entering the closing stages so will there be a late twist?
Ba uses his strength to ease Smalling off the ball in the box and get in a shot, but he is harshly penalised for a foul.
Mata again drives at the United defence and lays it off to Hazard. He then finds Oscar who fires wide from the edge of the box.
United's huge following is urging their side forward, but in truth they have created very little in the final third.
Chances at both ends with Van Persie unable to get a header on target, while Chelsea go downfield and Mata fires wide from the edge of the box.
Mata powers his way to the edge of the United box and goes down as he is about to shoot, but referee Dowd signals play on.
Mata and Hazard link on the edge of the box with Jones getting a foot in, but it breaks to Mata who blasts wide.
Mikel wins an important header for the hosts on the edge of his own box before Welbeck is penalised for a foul which will relieve the pressure.
Looks like we're going to get a grandstand finish with United pressing and Chelsea looking to hit on the counter.
Jones then gives the ball away and Hazard lays it off to Ramires who blasts the ball wide from 20 yards.
Good work from Ba sees him win a corner off Smalling. mata takes it and Ba almost gets in a header before Jones hoists the ball clear.
Smalling almost lets in Hazard on the halfway line, but the Chelsea man slips when a break was on the cards.
Terrific chance for Chelsea to have all but sealed the game there, but United are still very much in it.
Hazard picks up a loose pass from Carrick but with the United defence trailing in his wake he drags the ball wide with just De Gea to beat.
Mata is demanding a corner but nothing given even though replays suggest it was a good save - Mata is becoming more influential and that is good news for Chelsea fans.
Save of the season contender from Cech who turns over a point-blank header from Hernandez who got on the end of a driven cross from Welbeck.
A low cross by Ramires is aimed for Ba but Smalling stabs clear six yards out, Mata lifts it back in and De Gea does well to punch clear under pressure.
Valencia leads a United counter after Nani's touch and his cross drops to Welebck in the box but he is penalised for a push on Azpilicueta.
Welbeck plays the ball back to Cleverley on the edge of the box, but his shot is charged down by Mikel as the tackles begin to fly in.
GOAL! Ba gets on the end of Mata's floated pass into the box and he twists and volleys the ball over De Gea who is rooted to the spot.
Free kick for United after a foul on Jones but Nani's kick is blocked and his second attempt is gathered by Cech.
United get the second-half under way and neither side has made a change, but a reminder that Ashley Cole limped off and has been replaced by Ryan Bertrand in the first period.
Chris Green in Huddersfield says: "Man United haven't performed that badly in the 1st half of this thrilling FA Cup tie. But I would like to see more care when we are counter- attacking Chelsea. If we do this, then I'm sure we can finish off Chelsea in the second half."
It's 0-0 at the break and it's fair to say this FA Cup tie is yet to catch fire, although there were signs towards the break that we could be in for a better second period.
We will have one minute of added time as Mikel's shot from the edge is deflected out for a corner which United clear.
Big appeals from United as Nani and Bertrand tangle in the box after the Chelsea back four got themselves into an awful panic and presented the ball to Cleverley.
De Gea's goal kick picks out Hernandez 40 yards from goal. He is able to turn and runs to the edge of the box with his low drive almost deceiving Cech as it swerves in the air and in the end he keeps it out with his legs.
Chelsea respond with Hazard linking up well with Oscar on the edge of the box before rifling the ball just over.
Nani cuts in from the left and gets in a shot from 25 yards that is narrowly wide with Cech scrambling across his goal.
Hazard takes the kkck which is half-cleared to the edge of the box and falls for Ramiers whose shot lacks power and De Gea makes a comfortable save.
Break in play as Nani goes down holding his face after a collision with Mikel but he will continue after treatment.
Chelsea free kick 30 yards out and to the left of goal, but Luiz hits it high, wide and not very handsome!
Chelsea break through Hazard and he lays the ball off to Ba whose rasping drive from just inside the box is saved by the laegs of keeper David De Gea.
United play it short before Smalling looks for Evra down the right, but Ivanovic takes the ball off him.
United free-kick after a foul by Azpilicueta on Cleverley, but Cech punches clear after coming through a crowd of bodies.
Hernandez surges into the Chelsea box but cuts back to get it on his right foot and falls over as he does so.
Good work by Welbeck sess him take a pass from Carrick and lay it off to Tom Cleverley down the United left, but his low cross is cut out by Luiz.
Nani finally does pick out a pass and finds Welbeck. He looks for the overlapping Evra, but Cesar Azpilicueta gets in a good block.
The change is like-for-like so not too much of a problem for Chelsea in terms of formation and strategy.
Nani looks to take advantage and tries to roll the ball in for Hernandez but again his pass is poor and Luiz intercepts.
No clear-cut chances still and just a reminder that we do have the possibility of extra-time and a penalty shoot-out ... the tie WILL be settled today.
Some trickery from Mata down the left allows him to get in a cross that skims off the head of Smalling, but no blue shirt can get on the end of it.
Play has become scrappy in the last couple of minutes with both sides giving the ball away needlessly.
Patient build up by United before Welbeck's first-time flick on the edge of the box looks for Hernandez but Luiz clears.
Nani this time does get in a cross but Luiz is first to it and has plenty of time to make the clearance.
Danny Welbeck breaks clear for United and heads for goal, but Ivanovic matches him for pace and then is able to take the ball off the striker - good play by the defender.
Chelsea are knocking the ball about confidently but it's 40 yards from the United goal so no danger as yet.
A decent cross by Oscar looks for Demba Ba at the far post but it's too strong and the ball goes out for a goalkick.
Nani again gives the ball away but Hernandez wins it back, only for Ivanovic to make a solid tackle to put Chelsea back in possession.
Low-key start with both sides sizing each other up with an FA Cup semi-final place against Manchester City up for grabs.
Nani looks to play in Hernandez inside the box but mis-hits his pass and David Luiz is able to pick it up and clear the danger.
Oscar breaks down the left for Chelsea and looks to cut it back for Ramires in the box but Rio Ferdinand intercepts.
Early possession for Chelsea with Juan Mata and Ramires looking to play a one-two 20 yards out but Michael Carrick sees the danger and intercepts.
We're under way and Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Rooney has a groin injury picked up on England duty last week so that clears that up! I can also report that managers Benitez and Ferguson DID shake hands before the game.
"A fascinating game which could go either way, especially with Ferguson, once again, deciding to leave Rooney out (something is not right there no matter what they say). Man U are just about home and hosed with the title but Chelsea need to give their fans something to cheer about so perhaps the pressure is all on them. I'm going for a 2-1 United win with Hernandez and Van Persie (winner from the bench)," says Pete Shields - a Newcastle fan.
Baz Brennan says: "Shocked that Rooney has been left out, omens not looking good for wazza, days might be numbered. Still fancy United to get the job done. I'm saying 2-0 United."
Our colleagues at Sky Bet make Chelsea 6/5 favourites to win the tie in 90 minutes, with United 2/1 and the draw 13/5. Chelsea to qualify is 4/6 with United 11/10. The hosts to go through in extra time is 17/2 with United 11/1.
"With RVP's barren run, I'm glad to see Chicha playing. United to come from behind to win 2-1 with RVP and a late Hernandez winner cancelling out a Mata goal," predicts Morgan Roberts.
Benn Phillips says: "Both teams have looked good recently. I think we could see a penalty shootout."
Full team line ups are - Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Ba. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Torres, Moses, Terry, Benayoun, Bertrand. Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Nani, Welbeck, Hernandez. Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Young, van Persie, Powell, Kagawa, Vermijl. Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffs)
Rio Ferdinand returns but Wayne Rooney is again absent as Manchester United take on FA Cup holders Chelsea in today's quarter-final replay at Stamford Bridge. With a Wembley semi-final against Manchester City on April 14 the prize for the victors, runaway Barclays Premier League leaders United make seven changes from the side which won at Sunderland on Saturday, with Robin van Persie on the bench and Rooney not in the matchday squad. Chelsea, seeking a fifth FA Cup in seven seasons, also make seven changes from the XI which began the loss at Southampton, with John Terry and Frank Lampard on the bench and Demba Ba starting up front.
Scotty in New Zealand cannot believe Fergie leaving out Rooney again ... but says: "Mind you Hernandez scores all the time against Chelsea!"
"I see no problem with 2 games in 48 hours, non league clubs have to do it and without the facilities, staff, squads etc of prem clubs. Team news today can only mean a Chelsea win for me," says Ryan Storrie in Brighton.
First e-mail from Michael Dingle who says: "We need Hazard, Mata and Oscar starting today and starting well. Going for a 2-1 Chelsea win with either Mata, Hazard or Oscar with one and Lampard getting a goal."
The Chelsea team is Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Hazard, Mata, Oscar, Ba with Terry, Lampard and Torres on the bench. United line up with De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Nani, Welbeck, Hernandez and the big news is that Wayne Rooney does not make the bench although it seems he has a groin injury picked up on England duty.
Good morning (just!) and welcome to our coverage of today's FA Cup quarter-final replay between Chelsea and champions-elect Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. The Blues fought back from 2-0 down at Old Trafford to force this replay, but due to fixture congestion it means this was the only available date so both sides will be playing for the second time in 48 hours. I don't have a problem with that as it always used to happen in years gone by, but what do you think? Send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll publish the best ones.